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A Tribute to Sam Convissor

Greater Newark Conservancy’s Board and staff were very saddened to hear of the recent passing of Sam Convissor at age 93 in mid-March. Sam was a true son of Newark, proud of his Jewish heritage, growing up in one of the city’s historic Jewish neighborhoods. Over the years Sam took great pleasure in leading his “Jewish Tours” of Newark, bringing groups to visit former synagogues and other hallmark sites of the once thriving ethnic neighborhoods. Sam was especially proud to be affiliated with Greater Newark Conservancy, serving on the Board from 2006 to 2021. The centerpiece of the Conservancy’s Urban Environmental Center is the former Oheb Shalom Synagogue, later the home of the Adas Israel and Mishnayes congregation. It was with this later congregation that Sam had family roots. In fact, he was proud to recall that one of his ancestors was a cantor at the synagogue.

Sam was a very generous and devoted Board Member of the Conservancy, supporting the capital campaign to preserve the historic synagogue, which serves as the Urban Environmental Center’s Education Building. He was a passionate gardener who had taken the Master Gardener course at Rutgers and meticulously maintained his home garden at his South Orange residence. His horticultural interest carried over to the Conservancy’s 1.5-acre Outdoor Learning Center environmental education gardens and the organization’s neighborhood community gardens. He would bring various of his friends to show off the Center and introduce them to the Conservancy, hoping that they would become future supporters.

Sam had an impressive professional career, serving as a Vice President at RCA in Manhattan where he proudly pointed out how he had introduced many of the professional performing artists to the Waterloo Foundation for the Arts, where they subsequently performed at Historic Waterloo Village’s concert tent. Sam also had a brief career with Newark City government and indicated that he had a role in the siting of NJPAC at its Newark location.        

Sam’s greatest passion was his loving family – wife Carole, son Daniel, and daughters Rena and Sarah.  In later years, after Carole’s passing, Sam downsized and moved to an apartment in South Orange. Here he continued to be a supporter of the arts and served on the South Orange Performing Arts Center Board for a number of years.  

In 2022 Greater Newark Conservancy honored Sam Convissor at its annual fundraising Gala, a small, but well-deserved token of appreciation for his years of service to the organization. Sam will certainly be missed at the Conservancy! Our Board and staff join in extending our sincere condolences to his family and many friends!  

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